There a few better places than El Puerto de Santa Maria to learn Spanish. We love El Puerto and our team is either made up of local “portuenses”, who would never consider living anywhere else, or “guiris”: foreigners who fell in love with the town and have settled down here. Below are some of our personal favourites of some of the great things you can do in El Puerto. Most of these are also included in our social events programme and we can also recommend you many more, so just ask!
A beach stroll
El Puerto de Santa Maria has 5 different beaches and each one deserves not only your time sunbathing on it but also your time doing a morning or afternoon stroll along the beautiful golden sand, which can be done all year round. One of the “must do’s” is stroll to Puerto Sherry followed by a second breakfast or lunch in luxury next to the quaint little beach surrounded by the brightly coloured houses with marvelous views across the bay of Cadiz. The ultimate way to relax and enjoy the good life!
- Start in Fuentebravia (you can get a local bus there) and walk the 5 kms back along the golden sand to Puerto Sherry or alternatively do it the other way round and get lunch in Fuentebravia in one of the amazing restaurants perched high on the top of the beach with beautiful views across the sea.
- Start at Sparkville residence and walk to Playa Puntilla and then along the promenade past the sailing club to arrive at Puerto Sherry.
- Get the bus across to Valdelagrana and walk the 5-7 kilometres along the beach, marveling at the fine area and views of Cadiz and maybe stopping for a coffee or beer along the way!
A Portuense night out
Not too long ago the Spanish King came to holiday and participate in the El Puerto Regata (Sailing Race) so you can imagine that ElPuerto is well equipped with restaurants, bars and night life to cater for the massive influx of high end Spanish tourism. A great night out can start with tapas in the centre in our favourite El Asador (make sure to stand at the bar for the best tapas selection) or Bar Betis and then continue onto the art deco Blanco y Negro for a quiet drink surrounded by art work of local El Puerto artists. Then onto Bar and Co (or one of the many dance clubs) to dance the night (and much of the morning) away. El Puerto is also famous for its restaurants and whether it’s a nice dorada (sea bream) at a chiringuito (beach bar) or traditional Spanish food at one of El Puerto’s many popular restaurants, there are options for all price ranges and quality in general is very high. Feel free to ask us for some tips and we’ll point you in the right way.
A bodega crawl
Yes, you have all heard of a pub crawl, but in El Puerto there is such a thing as a bodega crawl where you go from bodega (wine cellar) to bodega tasting the local variety of sherry which often includes sherries only available for sale in that bodega. When combined with some nice tapas, good company and a pleasant stroll through streets of the old town on the way to the next bodega, it can be a thoroughly enjoyable way to spend a weekend afternoon. We recommend stopping at the bodega “7 Esquinas” as a must on any crawl and as a relaxing place to go any weekend afternoon.
Start your day with a typical Andalucian second breakfast: a ‘mollete’ (typical yummie piece of toast) with ‘jamon’ (the typical serrano ham from Spain) and ‘tomate’ (a light type of tomato puree), a cafe (solo o con leche) and a zumo de naranja natural (fresh orange juice), for less than 4 or 5 Euros in any bar in El Puerto. Combine your breakfast with reading a Spanish paper (Diario de la provincia de Cadiz if you want local news, El Pais or El Mundo if you worth something more substantial or the football magazines Marca or AS if you just can’t do without your football scores) and let the sun shine on your face as you marvel at how pace of life should be….
Connecting with the locals
People from Andalucia are notoriously sociable and welcoming especially when there is food and drink around. Portuenses (locals) are especially so, so don’t be surprised to find yourself coaxed into a conversation in your gym or walking along the beach or enjoying your second breakfast. Few locals speak good English and even fewer other European languages and so these conversations are always in Spanish, offering an excellent opportunity to practice and of course take advantage of local knowledge on the best places to eat, dance or go shopping! Befriending the naturally friendly locals is a sure way to improve your Spanish and who knows, it might even lead to more…
Follow the historical red route around the tourist walk through the centre of town, taking in the famous Plaza de Torros (the widest bull ring in Spain), the Gothic Church (commonly known as “la iglesia mayor”), Castle San Marcos (with magnificent Moorish architecture) as well as some of the 100 ancient palacios (palaces) that still line the main streets in El Puerto. Although not as historic as Seville, El Puerto has enough to interest the historic minded and certainly has a calmer, homelier environment.
- Every Tuesday morning the gypsy market takes place on the boulevard between the river and the playa Puntilla beach. You can find hundreds of stalls with great presents for you or somebody else, such as scarves, arts, shoes or jewelry. Also following it up with a walk out along the pier is well worth it.
- We have so many more tips so don’t hesitate to ask…
- Please also see the Things to do around El Puerto for more sites and days out around El Puerto and the area.
Also check out our Spark blog posts for some personal experiences on night out in Puerto, eating tapas and also all the latest news about what is going on in happening town as well as some great videos of the area.
You might also want to check out these third party pages for other suggestions on what things to do in El Puerto de Santa Maria: